The Mandala Newsletter of the Center for Southeast Asian Studies Summer 2021–2022 www.niu.edu/cseas/
Center for Southeast Asian Studies Northern Illinois University 520 College View Court, DeKalb, IL 60115 815-753-1771
Educate Global CSEAS-College of Ed venture brings pre-service teachers to Indonesia Page 10–11
Director’s Chair Charting the future with new language and collaborative initiatives Page 2
Faculty 360° Back to classroom, conferences, research and projects at home and abroad Page 4–8
On display Burmese refugee experience comes alive in exhibit at NIU Art Museum Page 17
On stage Celebrating NIU’s 125th anniversary with Southeast Asian performance and art Page 17 NIU pre-service TESOL teacher Caroline Niziolek, right, with 10th-grade student Btari Edlyna Larasati at SMA Pradita Dirgantara in Solo, Central Java. See Cover Story, page 10.
Director’s Chair Judy Ledgerwood
My first year back as CSEAS Director has been full of challenges and some wonderful rewards. We spent much of the year still shifting back from COVID isolation— returning to inperson classes, learning to teach masked and talk over air filters running in the classrooms. We were back in Pottenger House in person, but we kept the Friday seminar series as hybrid. While this meant there were fewer people in the room, it has also meant a much wider audience for our weekly seminars. We have decided to keep the hybrid format for another year, hoping that we can lure some people back to shared spaces. The podcast created with interviews from our seminar speakers has continued to grow in popularity and global reach, with listeners now in 100 countries. This was year four of our Title VI grant in a four-year grant cycle, so we spent considerable time writing the new grant. The year was full to bursting with activities delayed from earlier years by the pandemic. Catherine Raymond and her staff curated “The Art of Surviving: The Journey of the Burmese Karen Refugees in Illinois”—a collaboration with the Karen community in Batavia, IL—as we welcomed guests to the NIU Art Museum. Jui-Ching Wang produced “A Celebration Showcase of Southeast Asian Performing Arts” in the fall in honor of NIU’s 125th anniversary. The Educate Global Program, planned to take NIU student teachers to co-teach with high school teachers in Indonesia, finally was able to go to Solo in Central Java. Instead of five students a year over three years, 15 student teachers traveled with James Cohen, David Nieto and Teresa Wasonga from the College of Education to SMA Pradita Dirgantara High School. By all accounts, this was an exciting and
rewarding program for all involved and a life-changing opportunity for the NIU students. We were also able to run a longdelayed Model ASEAN simulation for high school students in collaboration with Rock Valley Community College and students from the Southeast Asia Youth Leadership (SEAYLP) program. We only sent one student to Southeast Asia to study language this summer, to Central Luzon State University to study Tagalog; all the other students attended SEASSI. However, we hope next year to resume our study abroad programs, including advanced language study in the region. After two years of virtual programming, our two youth leadership programs funded by the U.S. State Department ran in-person at NIU as well. SEAYLP and the Philippine Youth Leadership Program (PYLP) both took place in DeKalb and Washington DC. SEAYLP participants come from across the region (this year missing only Myanmar and Brunei), and PYLP students are from Mindanao in the southern Philippines. While there were snags here and there as we navigated testing, flight changes and other pandemic woes, the programs were both successful. We sponsored Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistants (FLTAs) this year from Thailand, Myanmar, Indonesia and the Philippines. For the first time, NIU taught Lao language, a distance course taught by Samlong Inthaly, who has been teaching Lao at SEASSI. We are delighted to announce that this year we plan to offer introductory and intermediate Lao language as remote, synchronous courses. NIU will host the first ever FLTA from Laos. Students from other American universities can take Lao, Khmer, or advance Burmese at NIU this coming year, some with SEALCGETSEA funding (see GETSEA link on our website.). Faculty have spread out across the region this summer to renew connections and engage in research. We have renewed MOUs in Cambodia and at several universities and government agencies in Indonesia. Assistant Director Eric Jones 2
traveled with College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Dean Robert Brinkmann, Scot Schraufnagel and Kheang Un to visit Jakarta and Yogyakarta. Indonesian language professor Rahmi Aoyami spanned several islands to renew agreements and reinvigorate programs. Melissa Lenczewski was awarded a Fulbright fellowship for the coming year to conduct research in Thailand and Cambodia. Rhodalyne Gallo-Crail has been awarded Fulbright-Group Projects Abroad funding to take students to the Philippines in summer 2023. The curator of the Donn V. Hart Collection at NIU Libraries, Hao Phan, traveled to collect materials in the Philippines and Indonesia. Catherine Raymond traveled to Vietnam and Thailand to continue her research on reverse glass painting. Finally, let me congratulate Thai language Professor Kanjana Thepboriruk, who was awarded tenure and promoted to Associate Professor, and to Public Health associate Tomoyuki Shibata, who was promoted to full Professor. We are excited for the new semester ahead! I look forward to our annual fall welcome event and to seeing everyone back from the field—from research, writing, relaxing and traveling. We’ve missed being together in person! Judy Ledgerwood, director of CSEAS, is a Presidential Engagement Professor in the Department of Anthropology.
Welcome addition Tiffany Adams joined CSEAS in fall 2021 as Office Administrator. Adams, who received a bachelor’s degree in art from NIU, held previous positions in the Department of Psychology and College of Engineering. Her institutional experience and cheery disposition have been greatly appreciated in this busy post-pandemic year.
Indonesia Postcard: A hopeful return By Eric Jones The past year has been a hopeful light at the end of the social-distancing tunnel and an opportunity to reconnect in person with our friends, colleagues and partners in Southeast Asia. An early high point came at the end of 2021 when we were proud to host top officials from the Indonesian Ministry for Cooperatives and Small and Medium Entreprises (KEMENKOPUKM). We hosted an array of training modules and Chicagoland site visits for the Ministry in cooperation with our colleagues from the NIU College of Business. Traveling and touching base in SEA this past summer felt like a major moment. We finally were able to see Educate Global, our long-planned collaboration with the NIU College of Education, come to fruition. Seeing this remarkable program in action was so rewarding. Our NIU team also traveled elsewhere in Indonesia to make and renew our many connections there. In Jakarta, we met with Universitas Widya Mataram, Indonesia’s national research agency (BRIN), NIU alumni, the JakartaU.S. Embassy, the Indonesian Foreign Ministry, the Office of the President of Indonesia, the SME Ministry, Binus University, International Indonesian Islamic University, International Association For Counterterrorism And Security Professionals, and in Bali, we stopped at the Bali Institute for Peace and Democracy. It was a successful return to business mostly as usual. For myself I was able to start planning a project to conduct oral history interviews with our Indonesian alumni who have been such a key part of building the successful institutions of Indonesian democracy. Eric Jones is Assistant CSEAS Director.
In Memoriam: Ronald Provencher and Michael Aung-Thwin In 2021, CSEAS lost two former directors, both of whom were prominent in their fields and left lasting legacies at CSEAS. Anthropologist Ron Provencher, who served as director from 1981–86 and as interim director from 1995–95, died March 4. He was 86. Burma historian Michael Aung-Thwin, who served as director 1987–95, died Aug. 14. He was 74. Provencher received his Ph.D. Anthropology in 1968 from the University of California-Berkeley. Provencher in 1981 He came to the NIU Department of Anthropology in 1974, eventually serving as chair before directing CSEAS. Among his signature accomplishments, he helped establish the Anthropology Museum, which contains a number of SEA holdings, in the department’s new home in the Stevens Building (now the Pick Museum of Anthropology in Cole Hall). He also helped strengthen NIU’s Southeast Asian language program by hosting two Southeast Asian Studies Summer Institute (SEASSI) intensive language programs in 1986 and 1987 as well as laying the groundwork for a Center project to create computer-aided SEA language instruction. “He brought the Southeast Asian Studies Summer Institute (SEASSI) to NIU when it was a fledgling organization,” remembered Thai Language Professor Emeritus John Hartmann, who taught Thai for SEASSI. Also teaching at SEASSI was Indonesian Language Professor Emerita Patricia Henry. “Ron was always so supportive of the [SEA] language teachers and we needed it—our department at the time was, shall we say, Euro-centric. One of his skills was making the case for us to the administration as a means to the end of getting outside funding. He played a crucial role in expanding that funding, 3
bringing in big bucks from Luce and other sources. He ‘volunteered’ me into running SEASSI at NIU for two years, and I still loved and admired him.” During Provencher’s tenure as director, the Center also expanded its publications program with the peer-reviewed journal Crossroads: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Southeast Asian Studies (which ceased publication in 2008). Succeeding Provencher as director in 1987, Aung-Thwin came to NIU in 1987 from Elmira College Aung-Thwin after receiving his Ph.D. in History in 1976 from the University of Michigan. As director, Aung-Thwin helped secure the first of several Henry Luce Foundation grants to fund student and outreach activities, oversaw the launch of the Center’s SEAsite online language program, began the Mandala newsletter, and was a strong advocate for the Center for Burma Studies established in 1986 by Art History Professor Emeritus Richard Cooler. Born in Yangon, Aung-Thwin supported the recruitment of Saw Tun, a noted professor of Burmese language and literature, to teach Burmese at NIU, at the time the only Burmese language program at a U.S. university apart from that taught at SEASSI. Aung-Thwin left NIU in 1995 to teach history (and later serve as history department chair) at the University of Hawai’i-Manoa in the Department of Asian Studies. His son Maitrii, now a professor at the National University of Singapore, received his B.A. in history from NIU and went on to receive his own Ph.D. in Burmese and Southeast Asian history from the University of Michigan. The two later collaborated on A History of Myanmar Since Ancient Times: Traditions and Transformations (University of Chicago Press, 2012).
Center Council News and Notes Rahmi Aoyama (World Languages and Cultures) • Successfully negotiated Memoranda of Understanding with four Indonesian educational institutions over the summer: Universitas Bung Hatta in Padang City, West Sumatra; Universitas Hasanuddin and Universitas Negeri Makassar in Makassar, Sulawesi; and Universitas Slamet Riyadi in Solo, Central Java. • Organized the March 3–6 Southeast Asian Language Council (SEALC) reading proficiency assessment training workshop at NIU for 29 SEA language instructors from around the country. • Contributed to strengthening the Indonesian language oral proficiency guidelines for SEALC’s Henry Luce Foundation-funded Southeast Asia language proficiency project. James Cohen (Education) • Led the College of Education’s first Educate Global program to Indonesia June 9–July 3. (See cover story, page 10). • Was named the 2021 Outstanding International Educator by the NIU Division of International Affairs during International Education Week in November 2021. He is the tenth CSEAS associate to win the award. Rhodalyne Gallo-Crail (World Languages and Cultures) • Was awarded a Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Award grant in June 2022 for “Coffee and Carabao: Tagalog Language Immersion in Northern and Southern Rural Philippines, an eight-week intensive program to bring area community college and NIU students to the region in summer 2023 in partnership with Cavite State and Central Luzon State universities. • Directed the U.S. Department of State’s Philippine Youth Leadership Program (PYLP 18/19), which returned to NIU in June–May 2022. • Conducted a virtual follow-on summit Sept. 24–25, 2021 Dungan Ngadto (Together Forward): A View from the
Making the connection Associate Rahmi Aoyama with Universitas Hasanuddin (UNHAS) officials, from left, Pak Mahatam Lanuru, UNHAS President Jamaluddin Jompa and Professor Adi Maulana after signing a new MOU.
River Delta, for the PYLP 17/18 held virtually in spring 2021. Trude Jacobsen Gidaszewski (History) • Is one of 10 NIU faculty members selected to participate in a virtual classroom being developed in partnership with Meta (formerly Facebook). NIU is one of 10 U.S. universities chosen to have a “metaversity campus” in which faculty and students will wear Virtual Reality (VR) headsets and hand tools to meet in virtual classrooms for instruction and hands-on experience. Gidaszewski will teach a history class in spring 2023 in the virtual classroom. • Was one of three faculty members receiving a 2022 Excellence in Online Teaching Award in April from NIU’s Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning. • Completed a Master of Public Health (MPH) through George Washington University in September. Her project was an intervention to reduce adolescent pregnancy among the Akha ethnic minority in Phongali province, northern Laos. Aarie Glas (Political Science) • Authored the book Practicing Peace: 4
Conflict Management in Southeast Asia and South America (Oxford University Press, 2022). • Co-authored the article “Changing Norms in Practice: Noninterference in the UN and ASEAN” with Marion Laurence in the Journal of Global Security Studies, Vol. 7, No. 2, in June 2022. • Contributed the entry “Diplomacy in the ASEAN” in the Oxford Bibliographies in International Relations, edited by Patrick James (Oxford University Press, 2021). Kikue Hamayotsu (Political Science) • Conducted the virtual roundtable Indonesian Democracy in Retreat, sponsored by the Indonesa Timor Leste Studies Council, at the March 24–27 Association of Asian Studies annual conference. • Contributed the chapter “Making the Majority in the Name of Islam: Democratization, Moderate-Radical Coalition, and Religious Intolerance in Indonesia” to Religious Pluralism in Indonesia: Threats and Opportunities for Democracy, edited by Chiara Formichi (Cornell University Press, 2021). continued on page 6
Field Notes: Voices from Phnom Penh’s edge By Judy Ledgerwood On the southern outskirts of Phnom Penh, the predominant sound is the rumbling of thousands upon thousands of passing trucks. Day in and day out they carry dirt and sand, literally transforming the landscape, as they dump loads into low-lying rice fields to raise the land up to build new housing and factories. The beltway ring road nearby is almost completed and the new airport is well underway. The scale of the change to the land is nothing short of monumental. The changes to Svay village, in this southern region, have also been dramatic. When May Ebihara (1968, 2018) conducted ethnographic research there in 1959, the people were neak srai – people of the rice fields. Today, as the city has grown ever closer, fewer than half the people still farm, and virtually all households have members who work as wage laborers, many in garment factories. This research, funded in part by a Center for Khmer Studies fellowship, follows the lives of residents across the 60 years since that original research, including their stories of the Khmer Rouge years and rebuilding their lives in the 1980s, ’90s and 2000s. The book manuscript that will be the outcome of this research, co-authored with Kheang Un, tells the stories of the people of West Svay hamlet, focusing on nine individuals across the 60 years – on their strategies to survive, prosper and secure better lives for their children and grandchildren. Because Svay is near Phnom Penh, it was never a typical rural village; there were always opportunities to work for wages in the city. Now, as the city boundary draws nearer, the region’s economics are a dynamic combination of wage labor, agriculture, and land sales. New people arrive from other parts of the country to work in the factories, and people
Surveying the rice fields on the ever-shrinking margins of Phnom Penh. (Photo / Judy Ledgerwood) move out from the city driven by higher housing costs and the attraction of newly built borei, or gated communities. There is an exciting dynamism to this change, parallel to Eric Harms’ (2011) work on Saigon and Jonathan Rigg’s (2019) work on Thai society. Harms says there is an “edginess” to this zone where there are greater opportunities but also significant risks to those who live suspended across the rural/urban divide. Do you sell your farmland at dizzyingly high prices? As young people work in the city and elders now farm, who will grow rice in the future? As many farmers said, “If we don’t grow rice, what will we eat?” The book’s final chapter will provide a snapshot of this moment – perhaps a final look at a single “rural” village before it is subsumed. Anthropology Professor Judy Ledgerwood is the director of CSEAS. She has
conducted work on Cambodian religion, kinship, gender and social organization in Cambodia and with Cambodian Americans. This article first appeared in the Center for Khmer Studies’ 2021–22 In Focus newsletter. References Ebihara, May Mayko. (2018) Svay: A Khmer Village in Cambodia. (Edited by Andrew Mertha). Ithaca: Cornell University Press. Harms, Eric. (2012) Saigon’s Edge: On the Margins of Ho Chi Minh City. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Rigg, Jonathan. (2019) More than Rural: Textures of Thailand’s Agrarian Transformation. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press.
Center Council News and Notes (cont’d) continued from page 4 • Chaired the panel Compromising Democracy: Agents of Democratic Regression in Southeast Asia, sponsored by the Southeast Asian Politics Research Group (SEAPRG) at the Sept. 30–Oct. 3 American Political Science Association virtual conference. Her conference paper, “The Political Origins of Religious Regime Formation in Southeast Asia,” won SEAPRG’s Best Paper Award. • Contributed “States, Religion, and Democracy in Southeast Asia: Comparative Religious Regime Formation” to the Oxford Handbook of Politics in Muslim Societies (Oxford University Press, 2022). Eric Jones (History/CSEAS) • Presented “J.C. van Leur and the Problematic Origins of ‘Autonomous’ Indonesian History” April 15 in a virtual public lecture sponsored by Universitas Dipolegoro, Indonesia. • Chaired the panel “Is Podcasting the New Punk Rock? History, Historians and Podcasts” at the Jan. 6–9 American Historical Association annual meeting in New Orleans. Judy Ledgerwood (Anthropology) • Returned to the Cambodian village outside Phnom Penh in June 2022 where she has conducted research for 30 years, funded by a Center for Khmer Studies Senior Fellowship. (See Field Notes). • Shared the virtual podium with CSEAS associate Kanjana Thepboriruk (World Languages and Cultures) April 25 for an interactive exchange “Busting Asian American Myths,” hosted by Waubonsee Community College. • Traveled to Honolulu the March 24–27 Association of Asian Studies conference to attend conference sessions and to meet with Southeast Asian Studies center directors and the Graduate Education and Training in Southeast Asian Studies (GETSEA) group. • Moderated the Gender, Religion and History panel for the virtual
International Burma Studies Conference in fall 2021. Melissa Lenczewski (Geology and Environmental Geosciences) • Has been selected as a 2022–23 Fulbright U.S. Scholar for Cambodia and Thailand. Her Southeast Asia partners will be the Royal University of Phnom Penh in Cambodia and Mahidol University in Thailand. • Presented “Textile Dyes as a Source of Groundwater Contamination” with visiting scholar Chit Wityi Oo at the virtual International Burma Studies Conference in fall 2021. Micah F. Morton (Anthropology) • Was a guest lecturer for an anthropology class at College of DuPage April 27 to present “Lived Experiences of Buddhism in Thailand.” • Presented “Stoking the Flames of Ethnic Politics? Translating Indigeneity into Post/neo-colonial Myanmar/ Burma” in a panel he also moderated, Music, Identity, Technology and Politics, for the virtual International Burma Studies Conference in fall 2021. • Was an invited panelist Aug. 25 for the “Rights and Plight of Indigenous Peoples,” an online presentation hosted by Inconvenient Questions International, a Singapore-based sociopolitical discussion series. Hao Phan (NIU Libraries) • Attended the “Southeast Asia Libraries between Open Science, Heritage Collections, and Ethical Standards of Custodianship” panel at the June 28– July 1 EuroSEAS conference in Paris, where he also attended a meeting of the Southeast Asia Library Group. • Gave a poetry reading from Paper Bells, a collection of his poems translated from Vietnamese into English by HaiDang Phan (New York: The Song Cave, 2020), in April 2022 at the University of Chicago’s Regenstein Library. • Attended the March 24–27 Association of Asian Studies conference in Honolulu for meetings with the 6
Committee on Research Materials on Southeast Asi and the Southeast Asia Digital Library group. • Was one of four finalists on the 2021 Lucien Stryk Asian Translation Prize Shortlist for Paper Bells. The prestigious prize is named after late NIU English Professor Lucien Stryk, a noted translator of Japanese and Chinese Zen poetry, a Zen poet himself, and prolific writer and editor. • Discussed his work collecting and digitizing the Southeast Asia Digital Library’s archive of manuscripts from the Cham Vietnamese minority group Oct. 25 in “Cham Manuscripts from Vietnam: Creating Access to Endangered Materials,” a virtual event with Jody Butterworth, curator for the British Library’s Endangered Archives Programme, hosted by the Graduate Education and Training in Southeast Asia (GETSEA). The British Library provided grant funding for the multiyear project (see sidebar). Alan Potkin (CSEAS Adjunct) • Presented “Wartime Propaganda and Orwellian Memory-Holing in Nam Bo,” at the March 31–April 2 conference, 1972: The War Between North and South Vietnam, at Chapman University in Orange, CA. • Presented “Near/mid-term Prospects for Large Scale Hydropower Development Consistent with the World Bank/IFC Strategic Environmental Assessment of the Myanmar Hydropower Sector (2019) in Light of the Tatmadaw Coup Following the SEA’s Promulgation” at the virtual International Burma Studies Conference Sept. 16–19. Catherine Raymond (School of Art, Center for Burma Studies) • Presented “Myanmar Women Artists and the Art of Protest” Feb. 9 as part of the NIU School of Art and Design’s biennial faculty exhibition. • Drew more than 500 participants worldwide to the first virtual
International Burma Studies Conference Sept. 16–19. The conference, coordinated by the Center for Burma Studies, the Burma studies Foundation Board of Trustees, and the Burma Studies Group, featured 106 presenters in 24 panels, including Raymond herself, who presented “Collecting and Collectors of Burmese Art prior to 1962: A Certain Regard Towards the History of Americans in Burma through their Personal Collections.” Relocated the remaining Burma Art Collection pieces from storage in Swen Parson Hall to the collection’s new state-of-the-art facility in the lower level of Founders Memorial Library. Curated “The Art of Surviving: The Journey of Burmese Karen Refugees in Illinois,” which was on display through Nov. 12. Presented “New Perspectives on Burmese Harp and its Connection with the Asian Harp Tradition” virtually at the International Council for Traditional Music’s Oct. 7–9 Symposium on Objects and Images of Music in Public and Private Art Museums in Lisbon, Portugal. Announced the awarding of two new grants to the Center for Burma Studies in 2021: $50,000 from the Institute of Museum and Library Services for digitizing the Burma Art Collection and $10,000 Preservation Assistance Grant from the National Endowment of the Humanities toward preserving the collection’s multi-ethnic textiles.
Scot Schraufnagel (Political Science) • Will host visiting Mahidol University doctoral student Chomkate Ngamkaiwan(Kate) in fall 2022 and work with her on a joint research project to be presented at the Oct. 21– 23 Council on Thai Studies conference at UW-Madison. Kate will also present her original research on environmental sustainability in Thailand Sept. 16 at the CSEAS fall lecture. • Successfully renegotiated the renewal of the 1+1 dual M.A. degree program
between the Department of Political Science and Chaing Mai University’s School of Public Policy effective through July 2025. The MOU allows Chiang Mai students to complete a dual M.A. in two years. Graduate student Timothy Johnson will be the first NIU student to complete this program in December (see Student News, page 12). • Hosted alumna Nurliah Nurdin (M.A. political science, 2000), director of Politeknik STIA LAN, an educational institution in Jakarta, on campus in June, during which time CSEAS renewed a Memorandum of Understanding with Nurdin’s organization. Tomoyuki Shibata (Public Health) • Was promoted to Professor July 1, 2022. Tharaphi Than (World Languages and Cultures) • Presented with documentary photographer Ma Sandar “Provocative Images and Slogans: The Changing Political and Cultural Landscape of the Myanmar Revolution,” a Feb. 18 webinar hosted by Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. Kanjana Thepboriruk (World Languages and Cultures) • Was promoted to Associate Professor July 1, 2022. • Received a College of Liberal Arts and Sciences summer research grant for a collaborative oral history project, Thais in Illinois, in partnership with the Wat Dhammaram Thai School and the Thai Cultural and Fine Arts Institute. • Received an Outstanding Capstone Mentor award from the NIU Honors Program April 24 for her work as capstone advisor for graduating anthropology major and SEA minor Holly Young. • Participated in strengthening the Thai language oral proficiency benchmarks for the Southeast Asian Language Council’s Henry Luce Foundationfunded Southeast Asia language proficiency project. 7
Kheang Un (Political Science) • Published the article “China’s Role in the Cambodian People’s Party’s Quest for Legitimacy” with Jing Jing Luo in Contemporary Southeast Asia 43, No. 2 (2021). • Published the article “Japan passes China in the Sprint to win Cambodian Hearts and Minds” with Jing Jing Luo in ISEAS Perspective, National University of Singapore, Issue 59 (2021). Reprinted in Singapore’s Lianhe Zaobao Think China. Jui-Ching Wang (School of Music) • Presented “Can You Feel the Music: Some Thoughts on Music, Education, and Cultural Sustainability” at Taitung University’s Education for Sustainable Development and Social Contribution symposium, part of the 28th Taiwan Association for Sociology of Education’s annual forum in July. • Was featured in a March 17 article in NIU Today about her role as coordinator of NIU’s Asian American Certificate Program. • Shared her experience of studying the sociocultural meanings in children’s singing games in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, in a Feb. 9 Radio Taiwan International online broadcast. • Presented the keynote address “Can We Call It Our Own? Reflections on Fusion Music, Creativity, and the teaching and Learning of World Music in the 21st Century” for the annual meeting of the Taiwan Musicology Forum held virtually Nov. 19. • Produced the 125th Anniversary Celebration Concert: A Showcase of Southeast Asian Performing Arts Nov. 5 in Boutell Memorial Concert Hall. Shei-Chau Wang (School of Art) • Will travel to Yogyakarta, Indonesia, in spring 2023 as a Fulbright U.S. Scholar. (Wang was awarded the Fulbright in 2020, which was deferred due to COVID-19). While in Indonesia, Wang will work with Yogyakarta State University faculty and students in continued on page 8
Center Council News and Notes (cont’d) Conserving fragile history through digital preservation The Southeast Asia Digital Library (SEADL), a project of the Committee on Research Materials on Southeast Asia (CORMOSEA) that began with a federal grant in 2005, is a virtual Southeast Asia treasure trove hosted by NIU Libraries. A digital archive of textual, still image, sound and video resources, SEADL is a free resource for anyone studying or just interested in the region. For the past eight years, CSEAS associate and Southeast Asia Curator Hao Phan has been laser-focused on finding and digitally preserving rare manuscripts of the Cham people in Vietnam. Phan received an initial grant from the British Library’s Endangered Archives Programme in 2013 to survey Cham materials in Vietnam and set up logistics for eventually digitizing them. After that, Phan received two grants in 2014 and 2017 to digitize the materials. The 2014 grant (about $66,000) and the 2017 grant (about $65,000) allowed Phan to set up a partnership with University of Social Sciences and Humanities in Ho Chi Minh City. In all, the project has digitized 977 manuscripts for an archive totaling 57,826 pages/folios. Since 2014, Phan has made several trips to Vietnam to shepherd the project from initial fieldwork to librarian training.
The Cham people, who currently number about 179,000 in Vietnam, are a historically important minority group from Central Vietnam and the Mekong Delta region. The materials collected are fragile manuscripts still used as religious materials in many Cham villages. The digitization A page from a Cham manuscript on the subject of astrology teams included scholars from the Endangered Cham Manuscripts of Vietnam and students from the collection in the Southeast Asia Digital Library. University of Social Sciences and Humanities who went to The resulting images are now fully villages located in Central Vietnam to accessible on the SEADL site. “These photograph the manuscripts held by documents contain valuable evidence their original owners and communities. of the Cham writing system, customs, Besides digitizing the materials, the linguistics and history,” Phan said. “By project team also assisted manuscript digitizing the manuscripts, the project owners in preserving the materials provides scholars worldwide online by providing archival boxes and basic access to primary research materials for preservation knowledge to prevent Cham Studies, and helps preserve an damage in the future. important cultural heritage of Cham Work to digitize the images began after the teams returned to Ho Chi Minh City. “Before the digitization started in 2014, I went to Vietnam with an archivist from NIU Libraries to run a three-day workshop for about fifty local librarians on the subject of manuscripts preservation, and also to train the team that would work on the manuscripts,” Phan said.
Sustainable Development and Social Contribution symposium, part of the 28th Taiwan Association for Sociology of Education’s annual forum in July. • Gave two exhibits in France (one in Paris and one in Vallauris) in April and May as part of his sabbatical research, Paysage Aerien (Aerial Landscape).
Jim Wilson (Geographic and Atmospheric Sciences) • Received the Graduate School’s Distinguished Graduate Faculty Award for excellence in graduate mentoring and outstanding scholarly achievement.
Meanwhile, work on expanding SEADL’s digital holdings continues with the help of a four-year $610,000 grant from the Henry Luce Foundation that began in 2019 and runs through 2023.
continued from page 7 the Foreign Languages, Cultures and Arts College, teaching communitybased art research and development of pedagogical materials to teach local cultural heritage in Yogyakarta. • Presented “Decoding Visual Literacy: Exploring the Social Power of ‘Seeing’” at Taitung University’s Education for
Outreach Update Growing, strengthening our CSEAS community By Rachael Skog As students, faculty, and our community started to re-emerge from a pandemicimposed cocoon, CSEAS Outreach was ready to welcome all those tentatively coming back to campus with events and lectures. For the first time in more than sixteen months, our lecture series returned every Friday in a new hybrid format that allowed for people to join at their comfort level. The year kicked off with a talk by Nicolas Verstappen, Communication Arts and Comic Art History and Composition faculty member at Chulalongkorn University, whose book about Thai comics’ archetypes inspired us—with Southeast Asia Collection curator Hao Phan—to curate “The Art of Thai Comics,” a digital exhibit that ran during the month of Verstappen’s presentation. Later in the semester, we hosted an evening film screening in conjunction with a lecture the following day by co-producer, Dr. Susanna Barnes of the University of Saskatchewan. Students from across disciplines attended this film about culture and healing in Timor-Leste. CSEAS associate Micah Morton also incorporated it into an anthropology class. The fall semester came to a crescendo in November with International Education Week, which CSEAS Outreach always strives to help make an enriching and colorful week at NIU with many SEAthemed events, such as our international language tables, which have increased in popularity and attendance since their introduction. Nearly 500 students from more than a dozen universities and organizations in Southeast Asia met daily with NIU SEA language students to have informal conversations and to work through prepared prompts. CSEAS Outreach has focused on growing and strengthening community this year. With the help of talented and tech-savvy Outreach graduate assistants Matthew
2021-22 Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistants, from left, Imelda Husein (Indonesian), Suchada “May” Sangmas (Thai), Khaing Wai Wai Zaw (Burmese) and Kay Arden Gallo (Tagalog). Werstler and Arkar Kyaw, we have partnered with student organizations and other centers across NIU for events both on- and off-campus. We participated in our county’s first annual Culture Celebration with the help of this year’s Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistants (FLTAs) and helped organize the annual Academic and Diversity Centers Open House at NIU, complete with gamelan performances. We delivered guest lectures at area community colleges and visited groups of heritage students at area high schools, sharing the academic and financial opportunities available to them through CSEAS at NIU. We hosted an event for educators titled “Teaching Burma: Context and Perspectives on Southeast Asia during World War II” and participated in Angklung Goes to America, an interactive musical program from the Embassy of Indonesia that teaches how to play and incorporate angklung into K-12 classrooms in the U.S. We held story times at local public libraries, featuring a children’s tale from the home country of each FLTA– 9
Indonesia, Thailand, Myanmar, and the Philippines. We also participated in NIU STEM Fest, which attracts more than 7,000 visitors from across the state each year; and, of course, were present at every NIU fair and orientation for current and incoming students. We wrapped up the year with the Southeast Asia Club’s spring student conference, which drew students presenting both virtually from around the globe and in person from as far away as Singapore and Indonesia, and a Songkran Festival with Thai music concert at Boutell Hall that was open to the public. Both events resulted in people coming back together, helping strengthen and grow the NIU Southeast Asian studies community. As a last note, we at CSEAS want to say a fond farewell to Matthew and Arkar and wish them the best on their future accomplishments. We will miss you! Rachael Skog coordinates CSEAS Outreach and advises undergraduate SEA minors.
Nothing says Indonesia like a trip to a temple like Prambanan, a famous Hindu temple complex, one of a number of cultural experiences had by the Educate Global team.
Teaching and Learning on a Global Scale CSEAS teams up with the College of Ed in Indonesia
By Liz Denius When senior Caroline Niziolek was in high school, she went to Germany on a student exchange program. It lit a spark, she says, that drew her to NIU College of Education and its Educate Global experiential program for pre-service teachers. That spark took her to Indonesia and SMA Pradita Dirgantara High School in Solo, Central Java, for three weeks this past summer, one of 15 NIU students to participate in CSEAS’s inaugural collaboration with the College of Ed to bring Educate Global to Southeast Asia.
Eric Jones, who visited the school with College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Dean Robert Brinkmann and CSEAS associate Kheang Un (Political Science) while the program was running from mid-June to early July. “We are taking NIU pre-service TESOL teachers and exposing them to Southeast Asia by doing their student teaching in-country and co-teaching with local instructors. In addition, NIU faculty and administrators are conducting professional development training while learning best practices from Southeast Asia partners.”
“I can’t imagine a more perfect collaboration for a Southeast Asia NRC,” said CSEAS Assistant Director
Indonesian educational attaché Popy Rufaidah facilitated the connection with SMA Pradita, one of the country’s 10
top high schools, during the Center’s 2019 Southeast Asia Youth Leadership Program (SEAYLP) alumni summit in Jakarta, Jones said. “They were impressed by the training and quality of student leaders we produced,” Jones said. “We were a perfect match for this highachieving school.” With the match made, and CSEAS Title VI funding in place, CSEAS associate James Cohen, associate professor of ESL/Bilingual Education, began preparing the first round of five students to go to Indonesia in 2020 and conducting online prep sessions with their Pradita co-teachers. When COVID-19 intervened, Cohen lost
some students to graduation but continued to attract new recruits, all the while conducting virtual professional development sessions. The delay also pushed funding forward. When travel restrictions lifted, the College of Ed was able to expand the number of students from five to15 along with three NIU faculty, Cohen, David Nieto and Teresa Wasonga. This also meant that the entire school could participate in the three-week program (euphemistically dubbed “summer camp”). A typical day for the Americans, who lived on-site at the boarding school, began with breakfast at 7 a.m., but 4 a.m. with a call to prayer for the Indonesian students. Working with Pradita co-teachers, with whom they were paired in spring, the NIU students offered lessons in English language and global competencies beginning at 8:30. After lunch, afternoons often involved a cultural activity or excursion including visits to rice fields, papaya orchards, temples, two royal palaces, and a batik museum. From the program’s beginnings, the goal of Educate Global has been to give student teachers a hands-on experience that will build teacher confidence by exposing them to different cultures and ways of living and learning. As retired Director Terry Borg described in a College of Ed blog post, “Looking at this from the big, big world perspective, the more opportunities that we take part in, where we meet and learn from people
Student teachers blended their English language teaching with experiential learning, like this game led by Peytonn Weaver, building teamwork while honing English skills. James Cohen gives a presentation to how to engage students in an English as a Second Language classroom.
from other countries, the more we begin to recognize that we are all the same.”
this,” he said in a call from Indonesia midprogram.
It is an educational process that Cohen has seen work both ways. “I had one student cry because one of her coteachers came up to her and said, ‘I was watching you during assembly. You are so competent. I want to be like you.’ This was an already certified teacher telling her
“These were the best three weeks of my life. I look at it like a movie. We were greeted with so much love and good will,” said Niziolek, who hopes eventually to teach abroad during summer breaks after she graduates in May 2023. Educate Global student teachers and College of Ed faculty Teresa Wasonga, James Cohen, and David Nieto don batik for their “class picture” at SMA Pradita Dirgantara High School in Central Java.
Student News A dual degree, a pandemic and a race to the finish Not everyone would start a dual-degree graduate program bridging Thailand and the U.S. in the middle of a pandemic, but graduate FLAS fellow Timothy Johnson was undaunted. He has envisioned building a career involving Southeast Asia since he was an undergraduate minor in SEA studies. In June 2021 Johnson began a 1+1 M.A. program between Chiang Mai University’s School of Public Policy and NIU’s Department of Political Science, a program that intended for U.S. students to travel to Chiang Mai before returning to NIU to complete the program. With travel to Thailand restricted, however, Johnson was forced to do the program completely online from June until March 2022, followed up by working on an independent study thesis until June 2022. That was in addition to studying Thai online during 2021–22 as a FLAS fellow. “In terms of my schooling at Chiang Mai University, I am done!” Johnson said. “I was just published on CMU’s website for my policy brief. Now I just wait for graduation (with a master’s in public policy on August 11).” The other half of the 1+1 program will be the completion of a master’s degree in public administration from NIU.
Teaching at the crossroads
Political Science doctoral student Rithiya Serey will be the 2022–23 graduate assistant for the Center’s Southeast Asia survey course, SEAS 225: Crossroads of Southeast Asia. and allowed me to see things in the public policy sphere in an international mindset,” he said. “I learned a lot about Thailand policy as well as policy from my classmates’ home countries such as Somalia, Malawi, Gambia, Myanmar, and Indonesia. I have made many friends around the world during my experience, and I am grateful for the opportunity.”
The first NIU student to complete the Chiang Mai program, Johnson only has small regrets about not traveling to Thailand this time around. “In terms of my experience, the classes were very intriguing and thought-provoking
And the dream of a career involving SEA still beckons. “I want to get on the job market, whether it would be working in a city as some sort of analyst, in the federal government such as State or Defense, or on a congressperson’s staff,” Johnson said. “Ideally, I would love to work for Senator [Tammy] Duckworth, using my knowledge of SEA and dual degree to further promote her solid ideas for Illinois and the country.”
Maw Maw Tun (M.A. English, 2020), a doctoral student in educational technology and research assessment, received NIU’s 2020-21 award for Outstanding Thesis for her project, “Learners’ Perceptions of Willingness to Communicate in Myanmar.” Tun first came to NIU as a 2014–15 Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant for Burmese.
Other noteworthy student accomplishments from 2021-22:
Thai language FLAS fellow Holly Young (B.A. anthropology, SEA minor) received the Outstanding Humanities Capstone Award at the NIU Honors Program ceremonies in April. Earlier in the month, Young presented her Senior Thesis research, “Thai-English Bilingual Code-Switching and Mixing in Natural Language,” at the 2022 Society of Linguistic Anthropology annual meeting in Boulder, CO. “She was the only undergraduate student on the panel and really held her own amongst Ph.D. students and doctoral candidates,” said her Honors mentor, Thai language professor Kanjana Thepboriruk. CSEAS Outreach Graduate Assistant Matthew Werstler presented “Thai Christian Musicking in Transcultural Community in Chicagoland” at the March 3–5 Society for Christian Scholarship in Music conference at Mercer University in Macon, GA. In November, Werstler was re-elected student vice-president of the Zeta Gamma chapter of the Phi Beta Delta international honor society. Political Science doctoral student Lei Tong presented “Ethnic Insurgency of Myanmar: Resilience and Fragility” at the Sept. 16–19 International Burma Studies Conference.
A Fulbright family prepares for an Indonesian year Four years after beginning to pursue a doctorate in history, Daniel McCoy is brushing off his passport and packing up his young family to spend the next year in Indonesia on a 2022–23 Fulbright award. “My doctoral project aims to examine how Indonesian diplomacy, both bilateral and through the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), affected the outcome of the Third Indochina War and shaped the subsequent geopolitics of Southeast Asia, including ASEAN’s conflictresolution capabilities. Specifically, I aim to gauge the roles and impact of Indonesia’s foreign and defense ministries along with the Jakarta-based Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and how these entities engaged one another,” McCoy said. McCoy will be conducting his research through CSIS, his Indonesian Fulbright sponsor, under the guidance of NIU alumnus Philips Vermonte (Ph.D. political science, 2011), executive director of CSIS. By combing CSIS and various ministry archives, McCoy said, “I seek to uncover how and why a variety of Indonesian officials
Political Science doctoral student Testriono published “The Imperative of State Capacity in Public Health Crisis: Asia’s early COVID-19 Policy Responses” in the April 25 issue of Journal of Governance with fellow NIU doctoral candidate Eunji Won and Wei-Tin Yen (Franklin and Marshall College) and LiYin Liu (University of Dayton). The Southeast Asia Club’s Spring Southeast Asia Student Conference drew 36 presenters from near and far to the Campus Life Building April 24, online and in person. Winning the awards for outstanding papers were University of Maryland undergraduate student Patrick Peralta for “Dictatorship of the Vengeful: The Rise of Civic Authoritarianism in
navigated the Third Indochina War in the manner that they did which then, by the substance and output of their diplomacy, prompted ASEAN to promote Indonesia as [ASEAN]’s ‘interlocutor.’” While most of the archives for his research are located in Jakarta, McCoy said that he may also travel to Hanoi, with the approval of the Vietnamese government, to comb through pertinent state archives concerning IndonesianVietnamese diplomatic correspondence during the Kampuchean Crisis. McCoy is grateful for this funded opportunity to complete his research. “I was absolutely thrilled to receive a Fulbright, especially after all those months of gathering the necessary recommendation letters from my amazing professors (past and present), slogging through the application process, and playing a long waiting game,” he said. “I had already mentally prepared myself for a possible rejection, and I am elated the exact opposite happened.” As for traveling to, and then living in, across the Pacific with family in tow? “My family and I are all excited to embark on this new experience later this year. Penny
Rodrigo Duterte’s Philippines” and University of Washington/Universitas Indonesia graduate student Choky Risda Ramadhan for “Reviewing the Indonesian Anticorruption Court: A Cost-Effective Analysis.” Conference coordinators for the club were Patricia Buczynski and Mitchell Rigert, with technical and timekeeper assistance from Rigert, Vilaya Sirivong, Mitchell Rigert, Isabelle Squires, Connor Knutson, Nuam Kim, Lia Un, Imelda Husein and Matthew Werstler. The club’s new officers for 2022–23 are Gavin Fox, president; Connor Knutson, vicepresident; Lia Un, secretary; Tweety Chan, treasurer; Socheata Meas, conference coordinator; and Nuam Kim, social/cultural events coordinator. 13
Dan McCoy with Milli and daughter Penny. has not voiced it in so many words, but I know she will be stoked to be in Jakarta and see other parts of Indonesia once she settles into a new schedule,” McCoy said. “On a deeper level, I am amazed and grateful by how open-minded and excited my wife, Milli, is for what awaits us there. To have my partner anticipate this new chapter of our lives with such optimism and enthusiasm is a true blessing.”
2021-22 graduates Graduate students
Christopher Bechtel (Au.D. audiology)* Glynnis White (M.M. music education* Thomas Phetmeuangmay (M.A. public administration) (*with Certificate in Southeast Asian Studies)
Sue Dar (B.S. business management) Christopher Frey (B.A. political science) Courtney Huhta (B.A. journalism) Elayna Lachs (B.A. political science) Tommy Mejdrech (B.A. political science) Biak Thang (B.A. history) Holly Young (B.A. Honors, anthropology) Bennett Zima (B.A. environmental studies) (with Southeast Asian Studies minor)
Fellowship Notes Advancing SEA studies with FLAS The U.S. Department of Education Title VI Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) academic-year and summer fellowships continue to draw students from multiple disciplines to CSEAS’s minor and graduate certificate programs in Southeast Asian Studies. Nine graduate students and nine undergraduate students received academic-year fellowships in 2021–22. This past spring, CSEAS awarded 10 summer FLAS grants while seven graduate students and seven undergraduates will receive academicyear FLAS fellowships in 2022–23. With travel restrictions still in play in some SEA countries, all but one summer awardee—four graduate students and five undergraduates—attended the Southeast Asian Studies Summer Institute (SEASSSI)’s eight-week intensive language study program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. With
Summer 2022 FLAS fellows
2022-23 FLAS fellows
Peter Alexander (Burmese, SEASSI) Sue Dar (Tagalog, SEASSI) Jerry Hansen (Khmer, SEASSI) Mitchell Rigert (Thai, SEASSI)
Jade King (Tagalog, Central Luzon State University) Austin Cowan (Thai, SEASSI) Gavin Fox (Indonesian, SEASSI) Eden Maxey (Burmese, SEASSI) Say Paw (Thai, SEASSI) Anne Rutherford (Thai, SEASSI)
all classes taught by native speakers, the SEASSI program is equivalent to two semesters of language study. Meanwhile, undergraduate Jade King was the first to return to Southeast Asia to study incountry, traveling to the Philippines to
Peter Alexander (Burmese) Thomas Brown (Khmer) Sue Dar (Thai) Jerry Hansen (Khmer) Haiying Li (Thai) Thomas Mejdrech (Indonesian) Sydney Naro (Thai)
Gavin Fox (Indonesian) Nuam Kim (Burmese) Jade King (Tagalog Kelsey Kinne (Indonesian) Connor Knutson (Khmer) Eden Maxey (Burmese) Say Paw (Thai)
study Tagalog at Central Luzon State University (see sidebar). The deadline to apply for summer 2023 FLAS grants and 2023–24 academicyear fellowships is Feb. 1.
Limeng Ong named 2022-23 Neher Fellow researching on various ruling parties in Cambodia throughout its modern history to understand why some regimes, despite being authoritarian, can maintain political order while other similar authoritarian regimes cannot,” he said.
Limeng Ong (Ph.D. candidate, political science) has been awarded the 2022–23 Clark and Arlene Neher Graduate Fellowship for the Study of Southeast Asia. From the town of Takhmao in Kandal Province, Cambodia, Ong came to NIU in 2017 after graduating from the American University of Phnom Penh (AUPP). Pursuing a doctoral degree in comparative politics, he is one of six AUPP students currently studying at NIU. Ong said that he was drawn to NIU’s specialty in Southeast Asian studies, finding fertile ground for his research interests in the Department of Political Science. “What interests me about politics is how humans learn to engineer social institutions like state and democracy to overcome their own individual selfish interests and coordinate and cooperate with each other in dealing with collective
Limeng Ong issues such as building infrastructure, maintain public security or defending their nations,” he said. Since coming to campus, Ong has distinguished himself in the classroom and at conferences. In 2021, he received the Political Science Department’s Outstanding Graduate Student Award for Research and Scholarly Activity. Ong is in the process of writing his doctoral prospectus. “I am currently 14
After completing his Ph.D. study, Ong plans to become a university professor in Cambodia. “Cambodia is still a developing country in need of a quality higher education system,” he said. “I hope to contribute to that in whatever small way, as I have the capacity.” NIU Political Science Professor Emeritus and former CSEAS Director Clark Neher and External Programming Director emeritus and CSEAS associate Arlene Neher established the Neher fellowship in 2002. The Center awards the annual $5,000 fellowship plus tuition waiver to one advanced-level graduate student. The deadline to apply for the 2023–24 award is Feb. 1.
I also went to a restaurant where they serve your food onto a raft and then lead you down a river while you eat your food. I collected shells from the ocean at low tide, I swam beneath two different waterfalls, I planted rice, I milked a goat, and I’m not even halfway through my six weeks here.
Jade King, at left, learns a Filipino cultural dance at Central Luzon State University with fellow FLAS students from the University of Michigan.
‘Ang pangalan ko ay Jade’ Studying intensive language in Southeast Asia was always the best part of a summer Foreign Language and Area Studies award until the pandemic shut down student travel abroad for two years. In summer 2022, however, undergraduate student Jade King became CSEAS’s first summer FLAS fellow to study in country, taking Tagalog at Central Luzon State University with several other FLAS fellows from the University of Michigan. Here is her snapshot of her experience halfway through in mid-June.
By Jade King Ang pangalan ko ay Jade. My name is Jade. I am a junior psychology major with a minor in Southeast Asian Studies. I am also a Filipino American and I have always wanted to connect to that part of my culture. My mom grew up in Romblon and immigrated to America in 1987. My Tito and Tita immigrated to America right before the pandemic and they barely spoke any English. As soon as I saw the opportunity to learn Tagalog at NIU, I jumped on it. Ate Rhoda (Tagalog teacher Rhodalyne Gallo-Crail) told my beginning Tagalog class about the six-week study abroad at Central Luzon State University in the Philippines, an opportunity to be immersed in the culture and the language. In the Philippines, I have learned slang terms, I’ve ridden a jeepney (a minibus-like public transportation vehicle), I’ve watched a fish get gutted live in the marketplace, and I’ve ridden motorcycles to class! Jade immerses herself in Filipino daily life, all part of her summer FLAS in Central Luzon. 15
I can’t speak highly enough of all the wonderful people I have met here. They immediately became a second family. Every week we have oral proficiency interviews where we speak only in Tagalog for ten minutes straight and Ate K asks us questions to make sure we are feeling safe, she asks if we have any concerns, and she checks in on how we have been feeling about being away from home for so long. The scariest thing I’ve tried so far has been street food. I ate some isaw (chicken intestine), ulo (chicken head), abnoy (an unhatched egg), proven (fried digestive system), and balut (boiled duck embryo). Sometimes, it’s scary to try new things and experiences but I am having the time of my life. I am so proud of how I have been able to try new things and interact with people here in Tagalog. I was the only person in my Tagalog class during spring semester at NIU and I hope more students will take the time to learn the culture and the language and take this opportunity to come to the Philippines when it arises next year. For anyone like me who is half Filipino and terrified that you won’t fit in here, let me put your anxieties to rest. Everyone is kind and accepting. Everyone is in your corner. Take the leap of faith and go study abroad!
Alumni News There and back again Sirojuddin Arif (Ph.D. political science, 2019) is an assistant professor of Political Science at Indonesian International Islamic University (IIIU) in Depok City, West Java, joining Political Science alumni Philips Vermonte (Ph.D. 2011) and Afrimadona (Ph.D. 2018), at the school. Vermonte is the Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Afrimadona is a professor. “[IIIU] is a newly built institution for graduate study initiated by the Indonesian government to promote the country’s modern Islamic education to the Muslim world,” said Siro, who will serve as the convener of the master’s in political science program. “For the first batch of our students we received applications from more than a thousand applicants from fifty-nine countries.” Scott Abel (Ph.D. history, 2016), an academic research specialist at Kean University in Union, NJ since 2019, accepted an adjunct history position in fall 2021 at Union County College in Cranford, NJ. Thomas (Thommy) Brown (MA history, 2019), who has been a visiting instructor of history at Huntington University in Huntington, IN for the past two years, will be returning to NIU as a history doctoral student in fall 2022. Shay Galto (M.A. sociology, 2012) is director of strategy for The Mom Complex, a consulting firm that helps companies better understand and serve mothers and families, both as consumers and employees. Silvia Ginting, who first came to NIU as the 2008–09 Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant (FLTA) for Indonesian, has been teaching Bahasa at National Changchi University in Taipei, Taiwan, the first Indonesian language instructor at a Taiwan university, since fall 2021. After a year teaching with Indonesian Language Professor Emerita Patricia Henry, Ginting earned master’s and doctoral degrees in instructional
technology at NIU, in addition to a second master’s in research and assessment. JoAnn LoSavio (Ph.D. history, 2020), assistant professor of history at Washington State University-Vancouver, received NIU’s 202021 Outstanding Dissertation Award in the arts, humanities, social sciences and Political Science alumni Afrimadona, Sirojuddin Arif and Philips education category Vermonte are now professional colleagues at the new Indonesian for her dissertation, International Islamic University in Depok City, West Java. “Modern Mandala: A Transnational History Ph.D. in educational theory and practice of Southeast Asian Youth from Burma, from the University of Georgia and is Malaya, and Thailand in Great Britain and headed to Alaska Pacific University where the United States, 1950–1970. She also she will be an assistant professor at the presented Burma in the Southeast Asia Institute of Culture and Environment Peninsular Games, 1950-1970: Buddhism, teaching place-based pedagogy and Bodhisattvas, Decolonization, and Nation decolonizing practices. Her dissertation Making through Sport” at the Sept. 16–19 is entitled “Cultivating Malu: Pedagogies International Burma Studies Conference. of Pro-sociality in Indonesian Early Joining her was alumna Nicole Loring Childhood Education.” (Ph.D. 2019), assistant professor political Adam Reedy (M.A. sociology, 2021) is science at Rivier University in Nashua, the primary counselor of TRIO Student NH, who presented “COVID and Crisis Support Services at Eastern Illinois in Myanmar.” University’s Office of Inclusion and Nay Yan Oo (M.A. political science, Academic Engagement. 2015) was a visiting fellow in 2021 for Cornell University’s Southeast Asia continued on page 18 Program. After leaving NIU, Oo earned a Master of Public Policy degree from the University of Oxford, was a resident fellow at the Pacific Forum in Hawai’i, and worked as a technical advisor for The Asia Foundation’s Governance Program in Myanmar and as a program manager for the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom in Yangon. The founding host of “Trends,” a political talk show Before leaving for a teaching position in in Myanmar, he ran for the Myanmar Taiwan in the fall, alumna and former Parliament in 2020 representing the Indonesian FLTA Silvia Ginting stopped People’s Party. for a quick visit with retired Patricia Francesca Pase (M.S. Ed., educational (World Languages and Cultures) and Jim psychology, 2015), has been awarded a Henry (Computer Science). 16
On Stage The showcase must go on COVID-19 forced special events connected with NIU’s 125th anniversary celebration in 2020-21 to be put on hold, including a showcase of Southeast Asian performing arts envisioned by CSEAS associate Jui-Ching Wang to mark NIU’s long history with Southeast Asian studies. Happily in fall 2021, it went back on the calendar. The 125th Anniversary Celebration Showcase of Southeast Asian Performing Arts, directed by Wang, filled the stage at Boutell Memorial Concert Hall Nov. 5 with wayang kulit puppetry from Bali, Thai music and dance, Javanese gamelan, Vietnamese guitar. The performance also featured two world premiere contemporary percussion pieces, one by Cambodian composer Chinary Ung, professor of music at the University of California-San Diego, and the other by NIU School of Music alumnus David Gordon. Gregory Breyer, director of percussion studies at NIU, performed the Ung composition on marimba and
directed the Gordon piece, inspired by Javanese gamelan music, performed by the NIU Percussion Ensemble. The concert led off with wayang kulit performed by Indiana University guest artist Jennifer Goodlander. Other performers included Vietnamese classical guitarist and NIU guitar faculty member An Tran, the NIU Javanese Gamelan Ensemble, Friends of the
Gamelan in Chicago, the NIU Thai Music Ensemble, and the Thai Cultural and Fine Arts Institute of Chicago. In conjunction with the concert was an opening reception at 6 p.m. for “Looking at Women in Contemporary Burma,” an exhibit of Burmese contemporary art from the Burma Art Collection curated by associate Catherine Raymond, on display in the adjacent Whitney Gallery.
On Display Remembrance and the refugee experience “The Art of Surviving: The Journey of Burmese Karen Refugees in Illinois,” a Center for Burma Studies exhibit in the making since 2015, was on display in fall 2021 at the NIU Art Museum. The exhibit examined the Burmese Karen refugee experience through recreations of home, glimpses of refugee camps, artifacts, textiles, oral histories, and photographs. It was divided into three sections: Life in Burma: Living in Fear; Life in the Refugee Camps: Safer but in Confinement; and Life in the United States: Poor but in Freedom. Along with the exhibit, there were online and in-person talks by curator Catherine
Raymond with NIU alumni Thomas Rhoden (Ph.D. political science, 2017), whose research focused on refugees along the Thai-Burmese border, and Karla Findley (M.A. anthropology, 2017), who has worked with Illinois Karen refugee communities through World Relief for the past 15 years. Both were involved in creation of the exhibition. Talks by local Karen refugees, their young adult children who are now NIU students, and representatives from area refugee assistance organizations also took place during the exhibit. The exhibit will eventually to become a traveling show.
Some of the members of the Karen community in Aurora, IL, with a scale recreation of a traditional bamboo house made by the group for the “The Art of Surviving” exhibit (Photo / Karla Findley)
Library Notes On the move for the Hart Collection Hao Phan, left, lunches with, from right, Zamboanga University President Fr. Karel S. San Juan, School of Liberal Arts Dean Robin Atilano De Los Reyes, librarians Agness and Sally, and head university librarian Lynnie Calingacion.
By Hao Phan This past spring, after more than two years of not being able to travel due to the pandemic, I made two trips to Southeast Asia, one in March, and one in May, to work on library projects and to collect materials for the Southeast Asia Collection at Founders Memorial Library. In March, I traveled to Cambodia and Vietnam primarily to work on two digitization projects funded by a Henry Luce Foundation grant. In Cambodia, I worked with National Library of Cambodia staff to continue the digitization of the collection of manuscripts in the library. Between 2020 and 2021, we digitized 511 palm-leaf manuscripts written in Khmer script, which included 50,824 pages, and made them available on the Southeast Asia Digital Library. This time, we began work on digitizing 34 manuscripts written in Thai script totaling 8,100 pages. As of this writing, that work is complete and will be soon added to the Southeast Asia Digital Library. From Cambodia I traveled to Vietnam to follow up an ongoing project creating documentary videos about the religions of Cham people in Vietnam. While in both countries, I also purchased about 180 books for the collection. In May, I made an acquisitions trip to Indonesia and the Philippines, funded by CSEAS. This trip added about 300 locally
published books, including some by local non-profit organizations, and more than 50 music CDs to the collection. The CDs are particularly interesting, featuring Indonesian traditional music and the music of some of the prominent artists of the country. In the Philippines, I visited Ateneo de Manila University Press, Social Weather Stations, a research and social advocacy company, the National Historical Commission of the Philippines, and an art and books shop, all in Manila. From there I traveled to Zamboanga City, located on the southern island of Mindanao to spend time at Ateneo de Zamboanga University. Over the past three years, I have sent to Zamboanga’s library more than 1,000 duplicate books donated to the Hart Collection by faculty members and the public, thanks to Dr. Felice Noelle
Rodriguez, a scholar associated with the university who generously paid to have the books shipped to Mindanao. The purpose of my visit to Zamboanga was to learn about its library, to collect materials from the Mindanao region, and to discuss collaborative library projects. I am grateful for the warm welcome extended to me by the president of the university, Fr. Karel San Juan SJ, library director Ms. Lynnie Calingacion, and many others at the university. In both Manila and Jakarta, I visited the offices of the Library of Congress’ Cooperative Acquisitions Program for Southeast Asia (CAPSEA) to discuss the acquisitions program provide by these offices to NIU Libraries.
Shannon Thomas (MA anthropology, 2017) completed her first year in 2021–22 as the Administrative Director for the Center’s U.S. State Departmentsponsored Philippine Youth
Leadership Program (PYLP), working closely with program director and CSEAS associate Rhodalyne GalloCrail.
CSEAS associate Hao Phan is curator of the Donn V. Hart Southeast Asia Collection.
continued from page 16 Punchada Sirivunnabood (Ph.D. political science, 2009), visiting fellow in the Thailand Studies Program at the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute and associate professor at Mahidol University in Bangkok, gave a virtual webinar, “Cadre or Cartel? The Evolution of the Political Party and of the Political-Party System in Thailand,” with University of Canterbury (New Zealand) political science professor James Ockey in March.
Alumna Shannon Thomas has returned to NIU to work with the Philippine Youth Leadership Program. 18
Anthonie Tumpag (M.A. anthropology, 2016) published “From Family Photos to Filipiniana: Piecing Together My Filipino American Identity” in the May 22 issue of the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Culture Heritage’s digital magazine.
NORTHERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY PRESS AN IMPRINT OF CORNELL UNIVERSITY PRESS
The Saigon Sisters Privileged Women in the Resistance Patricia D. Norland The Saigon Sisters offers the narratives of a group of privileged women who were immersed in a French lycée and later rebelled and fought for independence, starting with France’s occupation of Vietnam and continuing through US involvement and life after war ends in 1975. “The biographical sketches are introduced with very precise and accurate historical analysis. The nationalist puzzle is further understood by Norland’s remarkable portraits of supporting characters. This book is destined to be a classic.”—KEN BURNS, FILMMAKER “The Saigon Sisters is a rare glimpse into the experience of young women during the Vietnamese Revolution, the Vietnam War, and communist Vietnam. Beautifully written, this book is a valuable contribution to women’s history, as well as twentieth century Vietnamese history.”—CHRISTINA FIRPO, CALIFORNIA POLYTECHNIC STATE UNIVERSITY
Semi-Civilized The Moro Village at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition Michael C. Hawkins Semi-Civilized offers a concise, revealing, and analytically penetrating view of a critical period in Philippine history. Michael C. Hawkins examines Moro (Filipino Muslim) contributions to the Philippine exhibit at the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904, providing insight into this fascinating and previously overlooked historical episode. “Offering a nuanced view of the 1904 St. Louis Exposition, Hawkins brings the latest theoretical analysis and academic works to bear in a convincing study that undercuts a strict binary between the savage and the civilized.”— PAUL RODELL, GEORGIA SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY, AUTHOR OF CULTURE AND CUSTOMS OF THE PHILIPPINES
The NIU Southeast Asian Series was established in 2016 and publishes academic works and some books for general readers in all areas of Southeast Asian studies, including United States relations with Southeast Asia.
“Semi-Civilized examines one of the earliest populations of Muslim Americans and the most prominent period when Muslim Moros in the Philippines spent time in the United States. There has not been a critical assessment of the Moro villages at the important 1904 World’s Fair, and this book promises to bring such study into the scholarly record.”—TIMOTHY MARR, UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA, AUTHOR OF THE CULTURAL ROOTS OF AMERICAN ISLAMICIS
One last look There is always one more story to tell. If I have learned anything in the nearly 17 years I have been privileged to work for the Center for Southeast Asian Studies, it is that. Every student, every faculty member, every visitor who walks through the door of the Center’s home in Pottenger House brings at least one story with them. I have been the lucky person who has gotten to write about them in our weekly e-bulletin, on social media, and in this venerable newsletter. While not a Southeast Asianist I have learned so much as an armchair chronicler of the work we do here and in Southeast Asia. It has (almost) been the next best thing to being there. I will admit to being more than a little envious as our scholars and students have headed out the door to Southeast Asia during summer breaks to further their research, attend an international conference or to hone their language skills in-country. They always come back with new insights, amazing adventures and yes, great stories. This
CSEAS Council 2021–22
With a few of my favorite things in the CSEAS office. will be my last telling of their tales as I head into retirement before the coming academic year. Thanks to all who have made this job such a stellar one, including freelance designer Diane Collins who has helped craft every issue of Mandala for the past decade. And who knows, you might see me on the temple trail yet. — Liz Denius
Welcome to the CSEAS donor family You can help keep Southeast Asian studies at NIU alive and vibrant with your charitable contribution through the NIU Foundation. To contribute by phone, by mail or online, go to the NIU Foundation’s How to Give web page and where indicated, specify “Center for Southeast Asian Studies.” If your employer matches your charitable donations, please take a moment to also fill out that form and double your contribution. Your gifts help us give more students opportunities to expand their knowledge and experience of Southeast Asia. We thank you for your support.
Center for Southeast Asian Studies Pottenger House 520 College View Court Northern Illinois University DeKalb, IL 60115 PHONE: 815-753-1771 FAX: 815-753-1776 E-mail: email@example.com
Online CSEAS: niu.edu/clas/cseas/ u SEAsite: Language and Culture Resources on Southeast Asia: niu.edu/clas/cseas/ resources/seasite.html u Facebook: CSEASNIU u Twitter: @CSEAS_NIU
Rahmi Aoyama / WLC James Cohen / COE Jessamine Cooke-Plagwitz / WLC Rhodalyne Gallo-Crail /WLC Trude Jacobsen Gidaszewski / HIST Aarie Glas / POLS Kikue Hamayotsu / POLS Eric Jones / CSEAS-HIST Kheang Leang / WLC Judy Ledgerwood / CSEAS-ANTH Melissa Lenczewski / GEOL Micah F. Morton / ANTH Wei Luo / GEOG Hao Phan / NIU Libraries Alan Potkin / CSEAS Catherine Raymond / CBS-ART Scot Schraufnagel / POLS Florensia Surjadi / FCS Tomoyuki Shibata / PH Tharaphi Than / WLC Kanjana Thepboriruk / WLC Kurt Thurmaier / PA Kheang Un / POLS Jui-Ching Wang / MUS Shei-Chau Wang / ART Jim Wilson / GEOG Staff •D irector: Judy Ledgerwood 815-753-1771, firstname.lastname@example.org •A ssistant Director: Eric Jones 815-753-1771, email@example.com •O ffice Manager: Tiffany Adams 815-753-1771, firstname.lastname@example.org •C ommunications: Liz Poppens Denius 815-753-1901, email@example.com •A dvising / Outreach: Rachael Skog 815-753-1595, firstname.lastname@example.org
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